By Dirisu Yakubu
All is now set for the concessioning of the Onitsha River Port as the federal government, Thursday, signed an agreement with Universal Elysium Consortium Limited in Abuja.
Signing on behalf of the federal government, Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu said the Onitsha Port has a lot of potentials in terms of revenue generation and job creation.
He said: “The port has a lot of potentials and it is a major gateway to the South-East. Our roads are not designed to carry the loads they carry. The pressure on our roads needs to be addressed and to achieve this, we need to make a lot of investment in our waterways. Over 60 per cent of cargoes from Onne and elsewhere end up in either Onitsha or Aba”
In her brief remark, Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki said Onitsha Port would act as catalyst for other ports such as Lokoja and Baro that would also be concessioned.
According to her, “Onitsha Port will not only create economic growth for the companies but would create employment for the people.”
Managing Director, Universal Elysium Consortium Limited, Dr. George Nwagwu who signed the concession agreement on behalf of the group expressed the readiness of the consortium to contribute its quota to the development of the nation’s waterways.
The Port was opened more than 30 years ago but was abandoned by successive governments and is expected to generate over N50 billion for the federal government.
The port is equipped to deal with general cargo such as containers, bulk cargo and other packaged freight. The Port has a land area of over 12 hectares.